My First Book

Jamaican Ancestry: How to find out More - by Madeleine E. Mitchell. Heritage Books, Westminster, Maryland. 226 pp, index, First published 1998, Revised edition 2008. ISBN 978-0-7884-4282-7. The book retails at $24.50. The book number is #M4282. There is now a .pdf file of the book available so look for that format if you want to download it.

You can order the book directly from Heritage Books:History, Genealogy, Americana. Their Web page tells you how to order secure on-line with credit card, by fax or by 800 number.

Finding a lack of research-aid materials as she conducted her own Jamaican family research, Dr. Mitchell took it upon herself to put together this handy guide, intended for researchers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Jamaica.

If you think there's not much you can do without traveling to Jamaica, you're wrong! There are many records that are available if you know how to access the various sources through libraries and other repositories. Here you'll find hints and details on what's available and where, covering vital and church records, land patents and deeds, censuses, immigration and emigration, military records, handbooks and directories, court records, newspapers, occupations and more. The last few chapters provide a bibliography of additional references and genealogies, and a listing of useful addresses to jump-start your Jamaican research.

This new edition adds internet URL listings for various online sources which were not available in the original publication in 1998.

This book is not just for Jamaicans, however; Jamaican records may contain reference to your American or European ancestors. Some marriages of men who served in the regiments sent from England to Jamaica are recorded in Jamaica, and first and second born children may be christened in Jamaica. English and American ships captains, mates and ordinary seamen may be buried in Jamaica, although they truly never lived in the island. American Loyalists who fled to Jamaica after the American Revolution may have filtered back to the United States or joined others in Canada. Germans who first immigrated to Jamaica later settled after the 1850s in the American Midwest. English Quakers who settled in the island in the late 17th century removed to Pennsylvania in the 18th century. American researchers who cannot make the connection between Pennsylvania Quaker families and those in England might consider the possibility that their families made a home in Jamaica before removing to the United States. This book will show you what to look for, and how to make those family connections.

The appendix contains a timeline of important dates in Jamaican history; and the book closes with a subject index to make finding information easy. The author is a family historian who has been working on her Jamaican ancestry for 25 years.